Autumn is in full force, and the squash season has arrived. Autumn is my favorite time of the year; leaves are changing and showing their beautiful colors and the first chill is in the air.
There are so many varieties of amazing colorful squashes out there from Butternut squash, to Delicato, to Spaghetti Squash, just to name a few.
My Red Kuri Squash Tart is easy to prepare, tastes and looks great on any dinner table.
I have cooked the recipe with butternut squash before, so yes; you can substitute Red Kuri squash with other types of winter squash.
Squash can be classified as summer or a fall-winter squash. There are 12 different common types of winter squash available. They all are known to have a mild nutty flavor and the meat is dense and very aromatic.
Winter squash is best to consume in a ripe stage. The ripe stage means the skin is hard, smooth to bumpy, and the stem is dry. Fall-winter squash is usually harvested in summer.
Red Kuri Squash:
This squash is one of my favorites. The Red Kuri is also known as an orange Hokkaido pumpkin. It has a teardrop shape and an orange skin that is edible once cooked. Its flesh has a smooth texture, orange color, and chestnut flavor. The word “Kuri” is actually Japanese for chestnut.
The recipe for the Red Kuri Squash Tart is a basic, easy-to-make pastry dough that is suitable for many
different tarts. Do not overwork the dough, overworking the dough develops too much gluten and the dough will be tough.
l prepare my dough a day in advance, then wrap and place in the refrigerator ready to go. Prepping my dough a day in advance, makes my baking day so much more organized.
If you prefer, you can add nuts, cranberries, etc to the tart. But, as they say, less is more and the star of the Red Kuri Squash tart is the crust and the light filling.
Preparing the dough with a food processor:
Place the chilled butter, grated parmesan cheese, and flour into the food processor and pulse until the
mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the cold water. Pulse just until the mixture comes together. Squeeze a bit of the mixture in your hand to see if it holds together. The dough should hold together without crumbling.
Making the dough by hand:
Most of the time, I make my dough by hand. Place the chilled butter, grated parmesan cheese, and flour into a bowl. Using a pastry blender, “cut in” everything until it comes together to a breadcrumb consistency. “Cutting in” means incorporating the butter into the flour in such a way that little lumps of the raw butter remain whole within the flour mixture. I love my King Arthur pastry blender, it makes “cutting in” butter so much easier and is great for multiple applications: pastry blending, mashing potatoes and other veggies.
Why blind bake the crust:
The filling usually has a shorter baking time than the crust.
So if you don’t blind-bake your crust, it will be soggy because of the wet filling. When blind baking or sometimes called pre-baking, the crust is lined with parchment paper and then filled with uncooked beans or rice and then baked. Another reason you would blind bake a crust, for example, is when making a fruit tart.
Great Autumn flavor with a light hint of nutmeg.
The saltiness of the parmesan crust goes well with the natural chestnut flavor of the squash.
My Red Kuri Squash tart is one of my favorite tarts to make
and is pretty simple to prepare.
My Red Kuri Squash tastes and looks great.
Great appetizer or serve with a choice of salad for a light lunch.
To make the dough, I like to use my pastry blender.
However, if you prefer to use your food processor, the food processor method is much quicker and easier.